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Preparing kids for PARCC testing

THURSDAY, AUGUST 06, 2015 21:24 PM

Students may have recently received their Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test results, but as the new school year approaches, preparation and teaching for next year's exams will also begin. It is the instructor's job to give students the knowledge and learning tools they need to succeed in class, as well as in future aspirations.

The PARCC tests are meant to gauge a student's academic progress and provide information to instructors about where a child needs extra assistance, says the PARCC. With these rigorous exams many states now require, some parents are concerned that educators will start teaching to the test, therefore limiting other important instructional material so the kids will do well on the exams. However, by utilizing a few simple practices, teachers can provide students with real-world knowledge that will also help them succeed on the PARCC tests. 

Project-based learning
Implementing project-based learning techniques in the classroom is one way to get students engaged in education. These projects are beneficial because they can introduce real-world problems and challenge the students to find a solution. Project-based learning not only attracts student attention with the real-life applications, but it also allows teachers to align instruction with the Common Core. As Edutopia notes, the projects require students to engage in critical thinking and collaborate with others. When kids are interested in the assignments they are working on it will also help them remember the content better when it comes time for an exam.

Online practice tests
Taking online practice tests is beneficial to students in several ways. First, it gives kids the opportunity to get a feel for test formats and questioning. If kids are not used to the language exams use, they can often become confused when reading through the questions. Another useful aspect of this exercise is to show students and instructors where the kids need improvement. When children are performing below standards, knowing what areas are the most difficult gives students the opportunity to focus their efforts. It also allows the instructors to spend a little extra time on those subjects. Further, getting the extra practice will help students learn the information more because they can look over the practice exams and realize why their answers were wrong. When they come across similar answers on the real test, they'll be able to give a more accurate response.